An affordable and monumental selection of sofas, beds, desks, and sarcophagi mingle good-naturedly in Ashley Furniture’s wondrous warehouse. A Matrix Accent Chair ($219.99) commands shoppers’ attention with its sleek, contemporary design, and Kira furnishings provide stylish sites for storage, studying, or snoozing. A Sydney Accent Chair ($199.99) or Cubit ottoman set ($99.99) anticipate increasing the comfort of various human inactivities, while the Romy Accent Table Group consists of one cocktail and two end tables, creating a table cartel ruling over a home's Speed Quarters surface needs.
Within Lavo Collections’ four bustling boutiques, an ever-updating array of fashionable threads entices visitors with catwalk-ready looks displayed on jauntily posed mannequins. Billowing fabrics and curve-hugging colors abound in silhouette-flattering sundresses or business-casual blouses, and waist-slimming pencil skirts provide canvases for intricate belts, delicate jewelry, or wearable versions of Rembrandt’s The Night Watch.
With its circle of cushy chairs and iron-wrought footstools, the sewing area at Sugar Land Yarn Company bears a striking resemblance to a pastoral living room, where yarns of all colors fill a bowl resting on the coffee table and cubbyholes lined along the walls. Shawls and scarves hang in display to inspire future knitting projects, and a library of patterns and manuals demonstrates various techniques, such as stringing together a baby sweater without bursting into tears of joy. The shop’s wool-wizards lead classes in a wide variety of topics, allowing beginners and experienced knitters to socialize as they create wearable and decorative soft goods.
At their core, Aly's Apples are just like any other. In this case, it's what's on the outside that really counts. Their self-professed "over the top" gourmet caramel apples put boring old caramel apples to shame. Each day, they're hand dipped in smooth homemade caramel before receiving drizzles of chocolate and toppings that range from dark chocolate and pecans to marshmallows, M&Ms, and english toffee molded into a kitchen sink.
Nikoz Fusion Grill's cooks fill their kitchen with aromas from sizzling mediterranean kabobs, Indian spices from the baking samosas, and the subtle peanut scent from the drizzle of sauce over the asian salads. Blending flavors and dishes from the Mediterranean, Greece, and Asia, the chefs craft savory gyro sandwiches alongside beef short ribs with special spices and fresh hummus. In addition to dine-in meals, they also fill trays with fusion cuisine for catered events such as birthday parties, retirement lunches, and retiring from the birthday-party circuit.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.